The US government has been forced to adopt legislation requiring it to oppose IMF and WB loans, which contain conditions for the imposition of user fees for primary education or primary health care.
The Government of Tanzania’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) was endorsed by the IMF and WB Boards in early December despite claims from Tanzanian NGOs that the consultative process was inadequate.
NGOs in Kenya are highly critical that the Poverty Reduction Strategy process did not fully involve NGOs, was dominated by the Bank and IMF and was not poverty focussed.
World Vision has produced a useful critique of the PRSP process and the IMF and World Bank’s role within it, PRSPs: Good News for the Poor? The booklet offers some helpful suggestions to the Bank and IMF to improve the PRSP process.
The World Bank has confirmed that it will tie its Country Assistance Strategies into the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers by 2001.
In late May WWF and UK NGOs organised a workshop on National Strategies for Sustainable Development (NSSDs).
Bank and Fund staff have complained that the Joint IMF-World Bank Implementation Committee (JIC), which has been established to coordinate work on the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) program is just “political whitewash”.
The debate on the roles of the Bank and Fund looks set to accelerate.
James Wolfensohn’s disgruntlement that the Poverty Reduction Strategy Process has supplanted his own Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) is a factor in Masood Ahmed’s, former Vice President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, decision to leave the Bank.
A new short briefing from the Bretton Woods Project, The A, B,C of the PRSP, drawing on discussions with IMF and Bank staff reveals the reality behind the rhetoric of the new IMF and World Bank Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.